BOROUGH chiefs will consider whether a recently launched dial-a-ride bus service can expand its running hours in the new year.

Cheshire East Council-owned company Transport Service Solutions launched FlexiLink in August to replace the Little Bus service, which was previously run by D&G Bus.

The service runs between 9.30am and 2.30pm on weekdays – but that is a reduction from the old Little Bus running times of 9am to 4pm.

Councillors raised concerns about the shorter hours at a scrutiny meeting in July – and at Thursday’s full council meeting, Conservative Cllr Peter Groves asked the cabinet whether those hours would be reviewed.

Independent Cllr Craig Browne, CEC’s deputy leader, said: “We gave an undertaking when the Flexilink service was launched that a review would be carried out after six months from the launch date, so we will do that.”

FlexiLink is available to residents who are either aged 80 or above, registered disabled or have no access to alternative public transport.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Browne told members that ‘early feedback suggests the service is successful’ and that CEC is ‘exploring how we can expand this service further in future’.

At the July meeting where concerns were first raised about the new running hours, Cllr Groves suggested that the service would be a lifeline for elderly residents.

He said: “If we are going forward and we are going to encourage people to stay in their own homes rather than go to residential care, we do need to ensure that they have the ability to combat social isolation, and enable them to shop and socialise.”

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For more information about FlexiLink call 0300 123 5110.